Improving support for children missing education - response to call for evidence

In July 2023, we responded to this Department for Education call for evidence. The RCPCH welcomes efforts to identify and support children missing from education and subsequent plans to support such children back into full time education. 

Our full response to the call for evidence is available to download below.

In the response, we highlight:

  • The crucial role that schools play in promoting children's health, social, and mental wellbeing, offering various programs such as health screening, immunisation, physical education, mental health and emotional well-being programs, therapy, nutrition, and more.
  • Schools are vital for safeguarding practices as they can identify concerns about a child's well-being or safety and provide regular contact with external professionals.
  • A call to adopt a consistent child identifier, such as the NHS number, to improve information sharing between health, social care, and education services, enabling better support for children re-entering education.
  • A call to rewrite the statutory guidance on supporting pupils with medical conditions, in collaboration with young people, health, education professionals, and safeguarding partners.
  • We suggest clear guidance for non-education professionals, outlining thresholds for reporting and the correct process for raising concerns about school-age children not attending school.

The RCPCH strongly supports the work being carried out to identify and assist children missing from education. This particular group are likely to have a diverse range of needs, and we support a multi-professional approach which ensures every child can have their unique needs met.